Wednesday, January 13, 2010

School Memories: The Kindergarten Years (Part 1)

I guess all this trying-to-become-a-teacher stuff has been what's brought up all the memories of my own school days.  It's sometimes surprising how clearly I can recall some of the things I do from so long ago.  I have a lot of memories from kindergarten, one of them which scarred me more deeply than I realized until a few years ago.  (More about that one in Part 2.) 

I had a really nice teacher when I was in K5 - her name was Mrs. Browder.  I also had a boyfriend.  His name was Charles and when I look back at my yearbooks, I still think he was kind of cute.  :)  I was apparently mature at a very early age.  We dated all the way through kindergarten and first grade, when our puppy love was torn asunder by my move to Public School.  Oh, if I had only known how to be angst-y at that age, I could have honed my drama skills early! 

Where was I? 

Oh yeah, kindergarten.  I'm not sure how much my K5 experience compares to others, but we learned how to DANCE.  Not like tap or jazz or ballet or anything.  I don't actually know what kind it was, but I'm sure it would have been appropriately conservative.  I mean, it's not like Mom would have been dropping Charles and me off at the local club for a session of bumping and grinding. Not like this kid who is learning how to dance from exposure to Beyonce videos.  How can I compete?  Anyway, back to me!  Whenever it was time for our dance lessons, all the girls had to line up on the wall and the boys would choose their dance partners.  (See, totally conservative!  Proper girls didn't ask boys to dance back in the early 80's!)  Charles of course always picked me.  Awwww...  And then there was always ONE dance where the girls had to choose a boy to dance with for the Sadie Hawkins version of dance lessons.  And of course I always picked him.

Does anybody actually know who Sadie Hawkins is, by the way?  I feel the need to know this now for some reason.  *searches the interwebz for info...*

Holy crap!  Okay, I know it was considered forward for a girl to ask a boy out or for a dance or whatever, but I never realized quite how condescending this whole Sadie Hawkins thing is!  Prepare to be insulted.  (Or maybe it's just me.) 

I also remember playing outside on the playground.  Being a private Christian school, all the girls were required to wear dresses.  Which meant we had to wear the appropriate hosiery and dress shoes.  Do you know how infuriating it is to try to play on dew-slicked grass in a pair of slippery dress shoes?  We played things like Red Light, Green Light; Mother May I; and Duck, Duck, Goose. That last one was one I particularly hated.  For any of you who may have been spared this game as a child, everyone sits in a circle with one person being chosen as "It".  That person walks around the outside of the circle tapping each player on the head and saying "Duck, Duck..." over and over until they choose to name one player the "Goose".  The "Goose" then has to chase the other person around the circle and the first person back to the empty spot is the winner and the one left standing takes over being "It".  Of course I could never run properly because I had to try to keep from slipping on the grass (and really, aren't kindergarteners vertically-challenged enough?) and letting my dress fly up over my head and/or shredding my pantyhose.  I hated being forced to play that game.  No wonder so many girls seem to be less physically active then boys.  Put those boys in a dress, pantyhose, and some patent leather Mary Janes and see how well they can run!  This same dress code meant the girls weren't allowed to play on the monkey bars because the boys would be able to look up our dresses.  Um, maybe you should keep the pervert boys away so the girls can use them too?  No wonder I have no upper arm strength.


  1. We wore shorts under our uniform so that we could play on the monkey bars. When I went to an all girls Catholic school in high school we had to wear a uniform and saddle shoes. There is no slicker shoe than a saddle shoe. We had a huge hill we had to walk down to get to school and in the winter it was brutal with those shoes. I didn't mind duck duck grey duck, which is what we called it, it's probably politically incorrect to say it that way, I hated dodge ball, but who didn't? And Red Rover was another one I was just no good at.

  2. We played on concrete at recess. What? Play on actual grass? We were not allowed any measure of comfort at St. Jane Francis of the Mean Nuns grade school. And all the looking up of dresses was done on the stairwells, which is why girls always walked to the far right, away from the center viewing area. Good grief. I'm going to have nightmares again.

    I love that you had a boyfriend in kindergarten. So sweet! Do you ever wonder what became of little Charles?

  3. Jen - I doubt they'd have let us play on the monkey bars even with shorts on. They'd have probably punished us for wearing them! I've always hated kickball. I don't think our schools ever played dodgeball, come to think of it. I didn't mind Red Rover. It was kind of fun.

    Kathy - I remember one of your posts about your school! SCARY! I do wonder. I wonder if he's a hottie now or if he went from cute to Eww! I saw him once about half-way through our school years when my grandma went to a yard sale his parents were having. What a surprise that was! He looked pretty much like he did when he was younger, but at that age (I guess we were in 5th grade by then? Maybe 6th...) you usually do.

  4. I think you have some unresolved issues, lol. Esp re: Charles (sighhhh). ;-)

    I missed most of kindergarten and first grade because I was ill. Adapting to this environment was quite difficult. It required lots of surgery.

  5. Marvin - No unresolved issues about Charles. I'm happily married! :) But wait till I get around to Part II. That one will address the issues!

    Wow, that sounds pretty painful. :( I guess you were homeschooled for those years? I hope you adapted to our environment quickly after that!

  6. Teaching kindergarten is the most amazing job in the world... you get to see it all from the other side and it's completely wonderful. :)

  7. Halpey - From reading your blog, I can see how wonderful it is for you! Your blog makes me want to run out and become a kindergarten teacher. Those kids are lucky to have you as their teacher.

  8. LOVE this post. Lots of memories myself! Duck Duck Goose... it's been a LONG time. I DO remember that! I had to wear a Catholic girls uniform - those tights always tore. Do you remember RED ROVER? In TODAY'S world, this would not be allowed - running across and smashing in to other kids. That was a GREAT game, but now it would be "too violent." No wonder half the kids out there are couch potatoes - they need a good outside game of Red Rover. Oh and Dodge Ball too, where the rubber ball gets slammed into you. Those were the days!